Victoria records 80 new coronavirus cases

Victoria has recorded 80 new cases of Covid, almost double the 45 it had on Wednesday in a dramatic escalation to its outbreak.

The bad news didn’t end there with only 39 in quarantine while infectious and 13 mystery cases not yet linked to the rest of the outbreak.

Victoria beat its previous 2021 record of 71 set last week, and has not had this many new cases in a day since last September as its deadly second wave wound down.

They were diagnosed from 56,248 test and 33,932 vaccine doses were administered on Wednesday. Another 95,000 made booking to get their jabs.

The total number of active coronavirus cases in the state is 618. 

Victoria has recorded 80 new cases for Covid, almost double the 45 it had on Wednesday in a dramatic escalation to its outbreak.

The outbreak has hit Victoria’s health system and is causing distress in the regional town of Shepparton.

The state’s exposure sites list has ballooned past 800, including the emergency department of Monash Medical Centre which is now listed as a tier one exposure site.

Victoria is recruiting 350 overseas doctors and nurses to ease pressure on a hospital system facing hundreds of workers being furloughed due to coronavirus exposure, including at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Goulburn Valley Health.

The Goulburn Valley is battling an outbreak centred in Shepparton with at least 50 cases and 17,000 residents in isolation.

An urgent public health alert has been issued for a tower block at 140 Brunswick Street (pictured) in Fitzroy, Melbourne, after a Covid case visited the site

An urgent public health alert has been issued for a tower block at 140 Brunswick Street (pictured) in Fitzroy, Melbourne, after a Covid case visited the site

Hundreds of residents at two residential towers in Melbourne were also plunged into isolation after Covid-positive cases visited the two sites.

Public health alerts have been issued for a Housing Commission block at 140 Brunswick Street in the inner-northern suburb of Fitzroy and for The Standard Apartment Complex on Bay Street in beachside Brighton. 

Anyone who lives in the buildings along with those who may have visited during the times specified by the Victorian health department, are now under strict quarantine orders for up to 14 days.

It comes as a busy emergency ward at the Monash Medical Centre in Clayton was also flagged as an exposure site after an infected case sat in the fast track waiting room on Saturday between 3.20 and 3.35pm.  

An infected Melburnians also visited The Standard Apartment Complex on Bay Street in Brighton (pictured), sending residents into quarantine

An infected Melburnians also visited The Standard Apartment Complex on Bay Street in Brighton (pictured), sending residents into quarantine 

Latest Covid exposure sites in Victoria on Wednesday 

Some individuals will be Tier 1 contacts and required to quarantine for 14 days and the Department will contact them directly with this advice.

Others will be Tier 2 and must get tested urgently and isolate until you have a negative result 

Brighton The Standard – Apartment Complex 209-211 Bay Street Brighton VIC 3186 – Case attended venue from August 20 to 25 all day.

Fitzroy Brunswick Street – Residential Towers 140 Brunswick Street Fitzroy VIC 3065 – Case attended venue August 18 to 25 all day. 

Clayton Monash Medical Centre Emergency Department Clayton – Clinic Waiting Room (Fast Track) 246 Clayton Road Clayton VIC 3168 21/08/2021 3:35pm – 6:30pm Case attended venue – Tier 1 

Clayton Monash Medical Centre Emergency Department Clayton – Triage Waiting Room 246 Clayton Road Clayton VIC 3168 21/08/2021 3:20pm – 3:35pm Case attended venue. 

Some individuals will be Tier 1 contacts and required to quarantine for 14 days and the Department will contact them directly with this advice.

Patients and staff who were in the hospital’s triage waiting room during the same time have also been informed they must immediately get test and self isolate.

Some residents at the apartment complexes will be subject to Tier one health orders meaning they will be in isolation for 14 days.

Others who were not in close proximity to the infected cases will face Tier two orders and have to urgently get tested and stay at home until they receive a negative result.

Victoria recorded a further 45 new infections on Wednesday with 36 of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks, while the source of the remaining nine infections are still under investigation. 

Twenty-eight cases were infectious in the community and weren’t isolating while they were deemed positive.

Residents are tested for COVID-19 by health workers in the pop-up testing site outside the Palais Theatre in St Kilda, Melbourne, Friday, August 20, 2021

Residents are tested for COVID-19 by health workers in the pop-up testing site outside the Palais Theatre in St Kilda, Melbourne, Friday, August 20, 2021

Victoria recorded a further 45 new infections on Wednesday with 36 of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks, while the source of the remaining nine infections are still under investigation

Victoria recorded a further 45 new infections on Wednesday with 36 of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks, while the source of the remaining nine infections are still under investigation

In another Covid surprise, Victoria’s Health Minister on Wednesday said the government will re-directing staff to under-manned supermarkets in virus-hit regional areas. 

Martin Foley explained that workers from council, aged care services, school services, civic support groups and food supply groups would be sent out to areas like Shepparton after short-staffed supermarkets saw people unable to access food. 

He admitted the state could be forced to use the Australian Defence Force to assist at-risk areas. 

‘We’re working through all of those issues. It’s a challenge I know that the people of Shepparton – and the people of Victoria – are up to,’ he said.

‘If the call is made for further ADF support, it will be provided.’

He also said the Victorian government are not ruling out further border closures with NSW as the risk of spread continues and that the target of an 80 per cent vaccination rate would not immediately spell the end of restrictions.

The health department on Wednesday confirmed 36 cases were linked to known outbreaks, while the source of the remaining nine infections are under investigation

The health department on Wednesday confirmed 36 cases were linked to known outbreaks, while the source of the remaining nine infections are under investigation

Deputy Premier James Merlino said their priority is now to have all Year 12 students vaccinated before their end of year exams, which start on October 4. 

‘That is our priority. Everyone 16 and over – but particularly those Year 12 students – we want to make sure that they’re vaccinated before their exams start,’ he said.

The deputy premier also said they are targeting all children over the age of 12 to at least have their first dose of the vaccine by the end of the year, but that senior school students were the immediate priority. 

‘Whether that’s through the many state vaccination hubs we’ve got across Victoria, whether it’s through GPs, or whether it’s through participating pharmacies,’ he said on Wednesday.

‘We want to see that kids 12 and older are vaccinated at least with their first dose by the end of the year.’ 

Senior officials inside the Andrews government told the Herald Sun on Wednesday morning the current lockdown – which is due to end on September 2 – could be lifted if there are no mystery cases, even if daily numbers are still double digits.

The health department on Wednesday confirmed 36 cases were linked to known outbreaks, while the source of the remaining nine infections are under investigation

The health department on Wednesday confirmed 36 cases were linked to known outbreaks, while the source of the remaining nine infections are under investigation

Victoria is on track to reach 80 per cent vaccinations on November 16, but state leaders are quietly confident they will be able to open up faster if they can control mystery cases

Victoria is on track to reach 80 per cent vaccinations on November 16, but state leaders are quietly confident they will be able to open up faster if they can control mystery cases

Mr Foley however poured water over those suggestions saying there is ‘still a lot of work to do’ and identified vaccination rates as the key to moving forward.  

‘It is the trend that the public health officials in particular frame their advice to government and their decisions around,’ he said.

‘It’s our public health officials who still tell us there is a lot of work to do to make sure that as we take vaccination rates up we bring infection levels down.’ 

Wednesday’s additional cases brings the total number of active infections in the state to 538.

Of the 538 cases there are 101 aged between 10 and 19, with 89 in their 20s.  

Premier Andrews said on Tuesday he was confident Victoria would 'have options that Sydney won't have' before the September 2 lockdown cut-off

Premier Andrews said on Tuesday he was confident Victoria would ‘have options that Sydney won’t have’ before the September 2 lockdown cut-off 

Victoria is on track to reach the 80 per cent vaccination number on November 16, but state leaders are quietly confident they will be able to open up faster.

A figure of 70 per cent vaccination is now being targeted, in accordance with the Doherty Institute modelling, which is being used by state and federal governments.

The state should hit that number on October 13, which could see a number of restrictions lifted.

Premier Andrews said on Tuesday he was confident Victoria would ‘have options that Sydney won’t have’ before the September 2 lockdown cut-off.  

‘We’ve got a chance of having some options and some choices to make between now and 70 per cent,’ he said.

‘That’s what we’re working towards.’

Health mininster Martin Foley says they are sending workers out to areas like Shepparton after short-staffed supermarkets saw people unable to access food

Health mininster Martin Foley says they are sending workers out to areas like Shepparton after short-staffed supermarkets saw people unable to access food

Victoria's health minister has dismissed claims the state could move out of lockdown on time if they can stop further mystery Covid cases as 45 new infections were confirmed on Wednesday

Victoria’s health minister has dismissed claims the state could move out of lockdown on time if they can stop further mystery Covid cases as 45 new infections were confirmed on Wednesday

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly referred to the Doherty modelling, saying: ‘at 70 and 80 per cent you can reopen safely.’

The state government’s vaccination website crashed on Wednesday morning when thousands of young people tried to secure a booking. 

Victoria had a record number of vaccinations on Tuesday with 31,629 jabs handed out. 

It comes as Pfizer eligibility was expanded to people aged 16 to 39 across Victoria’s 55 vaccination hubs on Wednesday morning, as supply ramps up courtesy of 175,000 doses imported from Poland.

Premier Andrews said more than 830,000 vaccination bookings over the next four weeks will be made available from 7am on Wednesday, including 450,000 first-dose Pfizer appointments.

But within minutes of bookings opening, the website appeared to buckle.

Many young people reported receiving a ‘500 internal server error’ after waiting in the queue to book their appointment, while others were told they were ineligible for the vaccine.

Health minister Foley urged Victorians to continue checking back on the website as the state ironed out the small glitches occurring.

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